1. resources in Poland

1.3 libraries


Biblioteka Narodowa - The Polish National Library
The National Library in Warsaw has over nine million items in its collections, with specialist sections includingdocuments of social life in Poland, musicaudio-visual materials and manuscripts, with over 20,000 items, the earliest of which are from the sixteenth century. The Library's online catalogue contains a large portion of the materials available, although part of the collections are yet to be cataloged. Details of how to acquire a reader card are available here. The University also has numerous departmental libraries with significant holdings.

Ossolineum - Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich
The Ossolineum Library in Wrocław has large collections of books, manuscripts, documents on everyday life, maps and journals. Its oldest holdings were transferred from Lwów/Lviv after World War II.


All Universities in Poland, both state and private, have libraries. This is a selection of links to some of the largest and most renowned collections.

The Warsaw University Library

This modern library in central Warsaw has significant collections, a large portion of which are available on open-access shelves - something still quite unusual in Polish academic libraries. The Library's catalogue is available here, although not all holdings have as yet been incorporated. The Library issues reader cards  to non-students for a small fee (around 12 zlotys).

Jagiellonian University Library in Krakow
The library at Poland's oldest university is open to the public, with foreign users required to present their passport to gain a reader card. The library has a section dealing with underground publications, underground audio-visual materials and photographs from the communist period, while also holding materials on Solidarity and other oppositionorganisations.

University Library, Poznan
This is the library of Adam Mickiewicz University, holding arts, humanities and social sciences collections.

The Gdansk University Library
The library has considerable holdings in its main building and in numerous departmental libraries. A catalogue details collections added after 1989.

The Library of the University of Torun
The Nicolaus Copernicus University Library in Torun alongside its academic collections hold archives on Polish exile and emigration.

Other significant university libraries include:

Wrocław University Library

Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) Library

Marie Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS), Lublin, Library

Library of the University of Silesia

Łódź University Library

Specialized and municipal libraries

The Polish Academy of Sciences has numerous specialist subject libraries, with links to their individual cataloguesavailable here. The Academy's specialist libraries include those at the Institute of History, the Institute of Slavic StudiesInstitute of Literary StudiesInstitute of Art, which also includes significant audio recording collections, and Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology. The University of Warsaw's Department of Philosophy and Sociology, the Polish Philosophical Association and the Academy's Institute of Philosophy and Sociology run a joint library.

The Polish Academy of Sciences also has more general libraries outside Warsaw.

Polish Academy of Sciences Gdansk Library (BG PAN)
This library holds rich collections in various fields, including cartography, numismatics, theatre, music and history, spanning several centuries. The library has contributed to the Pomeranian Digital Library, which has put online some older documents and publications.

The Kórnik Library of the Academy of Science
This library, located in central Poznan and in Kórnik 20 km away, specialises in Polish literature and history. It has significant collections of manuscripts, including Adam Mickiewicz's Dziady part III and works by Juliusz Słowacki. It also hold letters by Tadeusz Kościuszko and Napoleon, among others. Some of its holdings are available on the Digital Library of Wielkopolska (WBC), where various older documents, newspapers and journals can be viewed online.

Polish Academy of Learning Library in Krakow
This specialist humanities library is run jointly by the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and the Polish Academy of Learning (PAU). Alongside large holdings of academic books, it also holds significant collections of engravings and prints, music and manuscripts.

Książnica Pomorska (Pomeranian Library)
This large library in Szczecin has a large collection of academic publications, as well as specialist holdings in family history - including archives, a large archive of letters by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), numerous autobiographies, maps and manuscripts.

The Raczyński Library in Poznan
The library holds academic, non-academic and specialist collections over several sites in the city, with dedicatedspecialised libraries including a music library and an art library.

The Library of Poznan Society of Friends of Arts and Sciences (PTPN)
This specialist arts and humanities library has also significant holdings in German. The Library has specialist manuscript, iconography, cartographic and nineteenth-century collections.

Instytut Zachodni Library, Poznan
The Institute of Western Affairs in Poznan has significant holdings, primarily in German and Polish, on Polish-German relations, German and Polish history and society, as well as significant collections of autobiographies from the communist period.

Filmoteka Narodowa
A specialist film studies library in Warsaw with over four thousand books, also offering access to significant archives.

Instytut Teatralny
A specialist theatre studies library in Warsaw, also offering access to archives.